Isaiah 61:1-7

To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3

For years God had given him a dream to start a school where men and women could be trained for Christian service. In 1907, he invested the culmination of his prayers and life savings into what had been a rambling old hotel overlooking a spring-fed lake in northeast Georgia.

With enrollment increasing, plans for expansion were underway. Then it happened—the test of faith. Cinders in one of the stone fireplaces found their way through the mortar and onto the aging wood. Within moments the two-story structure was ablaze, and within an hour the dream reduced to rubble.

The next day as he poked through the smoldering ashes, Dr. R. A. Forrest came upon what was left of his books. He later wrote, “I broke down and wept like a baby. Had I misunderstood God?” Suddenly God’s Word broke through: “I will give you beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). And He did. Today, Toccoa Falls College remains a testimony to God’s promises.

When the odds are against you and everything around you shouts: “Give up! Quit! It’ll never work!” remember, God is sovereign. He has a plan for your life, and He has promised to bring it to completion.

Lord, when the odds are against me, help me to remember that You have a plan for my life.

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